Slideshow: Nikon Australia Announces 2020 Surf Photo of the Year finalists

Nikon Australia has announced the finalists for its 8th annual Nikon Surf Photo and Video of the Year Awards. The leading optics and imaging company partnered with Surfing Australia to invite photographers and videographers of all skill levels to enter the competition. 20 images were selected along with three videos for consideration.

‘The Awards are a hugely important event on our calendar because they give the Australian surfing community a chance to honour our best, whether it be in the water competing or behind a lens. Inducting our latest Hall of Fame member is always a massive moment we cherish,’ says Chris Mater, CEO of Surfing Australia.

Images and videos were selected from a panel of 10 judges in the surfing industry, including seven-time World Surfing Champion and Nikon Brand Ambassador, Stephanie Gilmore. Entries were judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and creativity
  • Dramatic effect and sensory impact
  • Uniqueness
  • Composition of the panel

All finalist images and videos can be viewed here. Winners will be announced March 25th on what Nikon deems ‘an exciting new television format.’

Finalist: ‘Warrior’ by Greg Rugli

About this photo: ‘Motion blur photo of a surfer riding a large wave at sunset, Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia.’

Finalist: ‘Portugal Sunset’ by Peter ‘JOLI’ Wilson

About this photo: ‘Post surf catch up after a late session near Peniche.’

Finalist: ‘Duck Dive’ by Matt Dunbar

About this photo: ‘This is from my first trip to Tahiti I really wanted to walk away with a shot that was different. I was swimming with a big dome port to try and shoot “over unders.” The water clarity was a dream and I got lucky to shoot back as a surfer duck dived. Easily the favourite swim of my life.’

Finalist: ‘The Right’ by Ren McGann

About this photo: ‘No matter how many trips you do, some waves always stand out amongst the rest.’

Finalist: ‘Froth Monster’ by Travis Johnson

About this photo: ‘I was shooting little Harry at a bit of a secret spot the groms love to frequent on the Gold Coast for shallow little drainers and close out barrels. As he took off I moved across the front of him and heard him yelling out as the barrel began to encase him, his eyes wide and looking up at the roof of the wave almost in awe. As I passed through the wave my only thought was “did he make it?” I surfaced on the other side I heard an ecstatic voice yell out “I made it! I made it!’

Finalist: ‘No Looking Back’ by Peter Jovic

About this photo: ‘Some heavy water during a solid Indian Ocean swell and an unnamed local charger racing the gauntlet as the sun begins to set in the west. There’s no helicopters, no fanfare. Just an individual dealing with what mother nature has put in front of him…or behind him. The prospect is (apart from drowning) a long swim in waters that are very lively with large marine creatures.’

Finalist: ‘Cascade’ by Ray Collins

About this photo: ‘Flowing with great rapidity and force.’

Finalist: ‘Jack in the Box’ by Tom Pearsall

About this photo: ‘Jack Robinson gritting his teeth and holding his line through a deadly section in remote Western Australia. Shot at f/3.2, a 16 thousand of a second and 160mm creates a frozen moment that in real time was violently fast, with an interesting depth of field. As the wave roared past it almost grabbed me and my housing and ground us into the reef.’

Finalist: ‘The Big Bang’ by Ray Collins

About this photo: A violent ignition of hydrogen and oxygen.’

Finalist: ‘Danny Sunset Stern’ by Stu Gibson

About this photo: ‘Picture perfect arvo at Shippies.’

Finalist: ‘Breathing. Surfer Scott Whip Dennis’ by Simon Punch

About this photo: ‘A perspective from deep behind the surfer riding the barrel as the wave breathes back before spitting.’

Finalist: ‘Gun Barrel Highway’ by Peter Jovic

About this photo: ‘This is an image of local shredder, Kael Walsh shot in the South West of W.A. I was really lucky to have someone who’s so unflappable in challenging conditions taking aim straight into the barrel and seemingly doing it with complete disregard for their own well being. It’s always a really good feeling when shots like this come off.’

Finalist: ‘Flume’ by Paul Smith

About this photo: ‘Taken at Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast while most people were still sleeping. It was one of those perfect swells, and all the elements lined-up wave size, an offshore wind, and just enough light to illuminate the sea spray.’

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